Support for farming post EU Referendum

Fiona Bruce MP supports farming community in Parliament post EU Referendum
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Eggs, Pigs and Poultry recently held a reception at the House of Commons, attended by a number of MPs who support the farming sector including Fiona Bruce MP.
Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Neil Parish MP highlighted how the UK is in a position to agree new trade deals with countries across the world following the decision to leave the EU and that the UK had a great deal to offer.
Responding Farming Minister George Eustice MP, who campaigned to leave the EU, was buoyant about the farming and food produce sector, emphasising that it can innovate well and adapt quickly to change and that he believed that there are opportunities to seize new export markets beyond the EU going forward.
Fiona Bruce MP saidI have asked a number of questions in Parliament recently on behalf of Cheshire farmers since whatever happens with the UK going forward we must protect and support our agricultural sector. Farmers are the backbone of our rural economy and we cannot allow them to be short-changed. They deserve all our support, particularly bearing in mind the high welfare standards and quality produce in the UK which we can all be proud of, purchase and promote. ”

The event also gave Fiona Bruce an opportunity to thank George Eustice for his swift action to ensure that raisins, harvested before 2016, could still be used in food products – including, importantly, this year’s Christmas puddings – following a change in EU regulations. This intervention was vital to secure continuing production at Congleton food producers Mornflake and MorFruit.

Will Ministers reassure farmers in my constituency that in reviewing agricultural and environmental regulations they will have at the forefront of their minds the need for our farmers to produce the high-quality food that they do in a profitable way, just as any other business does?
My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point, and of course one benefit of leaving the European Union is that not only will we be able to adhere to stringent environmental requirements, but we will be able to design those so as best to suit the needs of this country and the agricultural industry.

T7. As the UK is now only 60% self-sufficient in food production, what are the Government’s strategies to encourage the next generation to enter farming and help them to invest in future food production, and therefore help to safeguard our food security? [907144]

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that this is a vital part of the economy. It is very important that more young people are brought into farming and given the chance to do this extraordinarily interesting and valuable pursuit.
The Government support new and young farmers through the increased basic payment scheme payments and are committed to increasing the number of apprenticeships in food and farming.


12. Will Ministers confirm that in the Brexit negotiations, the Government will focus on promoting efficient and competitive British farming, enabling farmers to reinvest in the countryside and the environment, rather than funding what my Cheshire farmers call costly and complicated bureaucratic schemes? [907465]

My hon. Friend is right to point out that by leaving the EU, we have the chance to design policies that are bespoke to the needs of this country. My right hon. and hon. Friends are actively engaged in developing those options right now, with my support, and at looking at what potential environmental schemes could be at the heart of any future agricultural support.
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